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Little things that really count

When David Edwards decided to build some furniture for his daughters' doll's house in the 1970s, he had no idea he was embarking on a journey which would him make famous in the world of miniatures.

MINI ADVENTURE: One of David Edwards' tiny violins which cost around £1000. Picture: Gordon Terris

He had a fulfilling career as principal cellist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and had no plans for a change.

However, after a chance meeting with the chief executive of the Design Council, he came to realise that while he was very good at playing his cello, he was also very good at building thumb-sized models of it, and so he hung up his bow. That was in 1983. Today the 76-year-old Edinburgh resident is regarded as the best in the business and his doll's house miniatures sell for up to £1000.

Collecting and furnishing dolls' houses is the second-biggest hobby in the US so a four-figure sum spent on one of Edwards' miniatures is seen as an investment.

His specialism is for what he calls "mundane things". "I make ordinary things but of a very high quality." And his musical training hasn't been wasted. To make his pieces requires intense discipline and concentration, attributes musicians also need. "Phrasing in music is similar to flow in a piece when you're turning," he added. "You have to have a nice shape to it."

And if you do want a musical instrument, he's certainly your man. "I know what a violin looks like, that's why I have a big advantage over other people where making violins is concerned," he said. "There's no doubt my miniature violins are the best in the world."

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